My life is worth more than their profits.

Here it is, Thursday already!  So far, so good at work; an unexpected and welcome turn of events.  If this continues I will have to rename my negative coworker!

The job interview and test went well yesterday afternoon.  I don’t expect to hear anything back from them for weeks and weeks; better to know this will happen than to wonder.  That possibility will go on the back burner until further notice.  A response to another application I sent out was bluntly rejected.  However, the fact that feedback was offered is something to be appreciated in this day and age.

It has been cold here, but not as cold as it has been in other parts of Canada.  We have snow here, but not as much snow as they have in other parts of Canada.  Attila is kept busy with splitting wood and building fires.  He is keeping Mist and I warm and comfortable.  My desk is near the outer wall of the house, well away from the masonry fireplace, so that I must bundle up well to sit for any length of time, as it is quite chilly.  I could move the furniture around, but have yet to envision a functional configuration.  Fortunately, I’ve lots of warm sweaters, socks and slippers to keep me snug.

Terra has a birthday this week, Happy Birthday Terra!  The past year has been a very good one for Terra, she accomplished a lot: she graduated and found a great job (although not perfect yet).

I need help from fellow Canadians.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have anaphylaxis.  Food labeling is a life or death issue for me, and others.  The new labeling laws in Canada have not been passed yet and I need help.  I will be submitting my views to Minister Stockwell Day, the President of the Treasury Board, and to Prime Minister Stephen Harper using this reliable and respectable web site: http://www.allergicliving.com/petitions/food-labelling/.  The Finance Canada And Treasury Board Secretariat has already viewed this entry, very quick to monitor public reaction.  It would be great if other bloggers included this link for their readers.

Spread the word if you can.

As far as I can tell, it is the food industry that is lobbying against labeling laws.  My life is worth more than their profits.

In just one week…

In just one week, this week will be over.  Obvious isn’t it.  And oddly comforting as I face a week in a workplace filled with severe mood swings and roller coaster demands and criticisms.  Just how often I’ll be able to write something speakable in my journal remains to be seen.  However, a week from Monday I plan on getting back into my own life and out of survival mode!  In just one week, this week will be over.

A quiet day here, lovely!  Attila is keeping the house warm and toasty, despite the -17C temperature at night.  The bedrooms are cool and extremely comfortable for sleeping under the eiderdown.

Mist is very contented, sleeping curled in her wicker basket beside the masonry heater.  Occasionally she wanders over to sit in my lap, or Attila’s lap.  Then over to her food bowl for a little snack before she returns to the hard work of napping in her basket.

Attila prepared a pork rib roast for dinner, with roast potatoes, carrots, onions and squash.  Delicious!  My cooking effort of the day went into making dough for three pizza’s; the dough is prepared in my Bosch mixer, left to rise, punched down and formed onto three pizza pans, partially prebaked and then frozen for instant pizza’s later in the week.  A little pick me up for me in time of need!

The Kobo is in constant use!  I putter, cook, perform tasks on the computer and take little breaks throughout the day, to sit with my good book.  Works for me.  It will also help this week to be engrossed in a good book; it will distract me from the challenges I face at work and help me avoid obsessing about things I cannot change in the short term.

I have recently opened up the comment function of this journal.  I think that now comments can be made without logging in or registering; although I could be wrong, not having tried it out.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-12 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -12.0°C
Dewpoint: -13.6°C
Humidity: 88 %
Wind: WNW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -17

Quote

“Live always in the best company when you read.”
Sydney Smith
1771 – 1845

Decorative Totem

Next week I am scheduled to work with the “negative coworker”, every morning for five days running.  I thought I was doing very well, putting all thoughts of the impending experience aside.  However, my body has quietly and firmly informed me that this is a foolish and ineffective tactic.  My stomach pain has been building over the last few days; a gut feeling if there ever was one.  Yesterday I broke down and started taking the stomach medication my doctor prescribed for me, to be used when needed.  It is now needed.  I’ll continue with the medication for the next week and continue into the following week, when relief from negativity will do its magic and my stomach will stop sending out the alarm.

Everything in my being shouts “get out” when it comes to dealing with this workplace situation. And I am listening to the call. Universe, if you do tend towards balance, there is a little issue over in this corner that needs some attention! I am doing everything I can think of to assist you Universe.

One of the positive things I picked up, during my December attendance at a program for older wanna-be workers, was an extended vision of volunteer work.  I’ve been running web sites for over ten years.  Some of them are actually commercial entities, others are pipe dream experiments.  They actually serve their purposes well.  The unfortunate thing is, their purpose was never primarily to make money.  Of course, I’d hoped they would make money.  Of course they did/do not.  The new concept, at least new to me, is that these projects could be viewed as volunteer work.

Often people have asked me, why don’t you do volunteer work if you can’t find work.  The short answer is that I NEED to earn an income.  Expanding on that, many of the volunteer opportunities where I live involve a considerable investment in a CAR, FUEL and other various tangible expenses.  I need to earn money, not give it away.  I have to admit that when someone suggests volunteer work to me, I automatically regard them as extremely myopic.

However, with this new concept I can now state emphatically that volunteer work fills my days!  Since my projects are a source of great interest and satisfaction for me, I will be able to project bright enthusiasm.  This will allow me to avoid exploring meaningful communication with those who prefer psychic nearsightedness.

Since I am tragically forthright, it is a lot of work trying to communicate with people who want to live in a panacean state.  What I need is a single phrase of appeasement and dismissal, triggered by an automatic “bullshit-o-meter” hung about my neck as a decorative totem.

Meanwhile, back in the real world…

Yesterday, for the evening meal, I fried fish in olive oil, with chopped garlic.  Attila prepared some rice and green peas, in the microwave oven, to accompany the fish.  I had my doubts about the fish.  Usually I pan fry fresh fish, that is, fresh Canadian fish  However, this was frozen cod from China, and produced a completely different result when pan fried.  It was not pretty, but it was delicious.

Lately I’ve been having trouble finding fish from Canada; everything in the grocery store is from China.  Same thing with garlic.  I HATE having to buy food from China.  Attila and I really will have to take up fishing recreationally, out of necessity to obtain fresh Canadian fish.  Attila has also decided that we are going to grow garlic, tomatoes and squash at the little house this summer. There is adequate sunlight there, and the soil is excellent.  Our country house is in the forest, not good for gardening of any kind, so we are really looking forward to having a viable garden.

Talking about food, it is snack time!  Today it will be a handful of roasted almonds and a vegetable/fruit juice spritzer.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dewpoint: -12.4°C
Humidity: 83 %
Wind: E 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -14

Quote

“The mind can assert anything and pretend it has proved it. My beliefs I test on my body, on my intuitional consciousness, and when I get a response there, then I accept.”
D. H. Lawrence
1885 – 1930

Clearing Things Up

Last weekend’s project was cleaning out my filing cabinets.  Unbelievable!  The stack of material to be burned was about three feet high, and I hadn’t sorted everything.  I did find a cheque made out to me, for the amount of $186.15.  I had suspected the company, that I worked for many years ago, of pulling a fast one on the insurance company, and so filed the cheque, to investigate at a later date.  I forgot about it.  No surprise there!  I gave the insurance company a call and explained the situation; they will trace the check and reissue it if that is appropriate.

At work, last Friday, a senior management person appeared at the workplace.  I got my wish, she came sooner rather than later, a great relief.  She held a conference with the negative coworker and myself.  The outcome of that discussion is uncertain, but the manager did offer to return if one of us felt the need of her guidance, and I will take her up on that if I need to.  She encouraged me to “speak up”.  I’ve taken her advice to heart.  My speaking up has not been well received.  Feathers are ruffled.  Better her than me.  Perhaps that is what the senior management person anticipated, because I feel better for it, not good, but better.

I talked with Caitrìona last Saturday.  She was having a quiet day, we chatted about the weather, teenagers cooking pasta and the ins and outs of purchasing a new vehicle.  Caitrìona purchased a new vehicle in September and is still waiting for it to be delivered to the dealer.  She is planning a visit once the new vehicle arrives, I am very much looking forward to it.

Today was cloudy, and bit chilly.  Still, the weather is relatively mild for this time of year.  That means that Attila can keep the house warm and toasty with a minimum of effort.

Mist enjoys the fires.  I’ve set out a basket for her to sleep in, over by the hearth.  It has become one of her favorite sleeping spots.  Attila and I have come to the conclusion that our Mist is totally deaf.  Poor old girl.  She doesn’t seem to mind though, and it hasn’t really changed her life very much.  We just have to be careful to let her know we are in the room, so as not to startle our old girl.

Mist In Her Basket

Mist In Her Basket

I have heard through the grapevine that my employer is cutting staff hours, in all the offices.  This means that after next week I will not be getting much work, perhaps no work for the next month or so.  An acquaintance tipped me off about a program for older workers in economically depressed areas, I qualify on all counts.  I’ve an appointment with the program delivery people tomorrow.  It is a long commute, an hours drive, one way.  If I can find enough work to cover the gas money and some of the cost of the car payment it will be time well spent.  I may or may not qualify though, this appointment is just to establish my eligibility.

It is only 5:15 p.m., and daylight has already faded away.  Atilla will arrive home soon, and our evening will begin.  We will make dinner, Attila will chop firewood and build a fire, we will sit in front of the crackling fire and plan our next visit to the little house in the city.  An evening to look forward to.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1 °C
Condition: Light Snowshower
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.0°C
Dewpoint: 0.6°C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: WSW 9 km/h

Quote

“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”
Henry Miller

Reclamation

Attila and I visited the little house over the past weekend, we had Saturday off work, and Attila had one day of his holiday time left, which was taken on Monday.  That allowed us to stay two nights and three days in our little house.  Our stay was a tonic, a reclamation of purpose, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and each other.

Kitchen Cupboard After

Kitchen Cupboard After

Kitchen Cupboard Before

Kitchen Cupboard Before

We accomplished much during our stay at the little house.  Attila lined the bottom kitchen cupboards with cedar, and I immediately began to fill them with our kitchen equipment.  Attila prepared the floor of the second bedroom for painting, and applied the floor paint just before we left, the fumes were potent!  We tackled the basement situation.  I applied a soap and bleach solution to the mildewed cement blocks and some of the overhead joists and boards.  That is a big, smelly, messy, disgusting job and I’ll be glad when I have it completed!  Attila removed nails, excess boards and bits of the former studs and drywall.  We ran the air cleaner continuously throughout the weekend.

During our stay at the little house we got to visit with Terra and Lares.  The two of them work, work, work!  Terra works variable shifts on an on-call basis, and Lares holds down a day job and is on call in the evenings and during the night.  You have to admire the way these two are working hard to create the life they want.

We also managed a brief visit to Luna’s house, which soon will not be her house.  She will be moving in a matter of weeks!  They will be relocating temporarily about a two hour drive from the little house.  That is a six or seven hour drive from our country house, one way, so it is unlikely we can make it that far there and back in a 24 hours period, which is what we have to work with because of Attila usually works six days a week.  What this will mean ultimately is that we will see them less.  It is all temporary though, we might move to the little house, they might move again… who knows!

The grandchildren are changing by leaps and bounds now, the twins are in school and Tink has just begun to walk.  We spent a wonderful hour playing with the grand-kids before we had to leave for our long drive home to our country house.

When we arrived home at the country house, the atmosphere was chilly.  The temperature in the house was a respectable 15 C, not bad after three days with no heat source.  However, Mist was totally unimpressed with the temperature, and with us.  She was volubly indignant for quite a while, but calmed considerably once Attila had a roaring fire going in the masonry heater.  Today she seems much recovered and is friendly again.

Caitrìona and Harriet stopped by for a cup of tea yesterday, on their way home from Harriet’s cottage.  We had a lovely chat and Attila was even home for lunch while they were here and got to visit with them as well.

The tension at work seems more intense, I got a call from the manager while Caitrìona and Harriet were here.  This situation is uncomfortable for everyone involved and I do hope it is resolved equitably. I am hoping that the people who mediate this situation are skilled and humane, and that the situation is addressed sooner rather than later, this is the optimistic view.

Errands await me.  I have filing to do.  I have to visit the bank and process the paperwork they require.  There are bills to pay.  There are resumes to send out.  There are telephone calls that must be made.  I’ve been craving apple crisp again, so I’d like to bake today.  Laundry needs doing again.  It is not an exciting or even interesting list of tasks.  Still, accomplishing a series of little things that need doing does offer some level of satisfaction.

The weather is beautiful!  It is mild for this time of year, and the sky is very blue above the sun drenched treetops.  A day to enjoy!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.7 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dewpoint: -1.0°C
Humidity: 75 %
Wind: E 8 km/h

Quote

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)